How to Reinstall the Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter in Windows

By Jim Campbell

Microsoft introduced the virtual Wi-Fi miniport adapter with the release of Windows 7 and continues to ship it with the latest version of their operating system, Windows 8.1. The Wi-Fi miniport adapter is a software driver that emulates a wireless access point, which enables you to connect to multiple Wi-Fi networks with a single wireless card or dongle. If the virtual Wi-Fi miniport adapter's driver becomes corrupted, you may experience random errors or trouble connecting to the Internet. Therefore, if you have problems with the virtual adapter, you'll need to reinstall it.

Step 1

Press "Windows-E" to launch File Explorer. Click "This PC" in the navigation pane, and then click the "Computer" tab on the ribbon bar. Click "System properties" on the Computer ribbon.

Step 2

Click the "Device Manager" link on the left side of the System window. The Device Manager opens in a new window.

Step 3

Click the arrow next to "Network Adapters." A list of Wi-Fi and local adapters is shown. Right-click the "Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter" icon and select "Uninstall."

Step 4

Click the "Action" menu item after the driver uninstalls. Click "Scan for Hardware Changes." The window refreshes and the Wi-Fi adapter is reinstalled.

Step 5

Right-click the "Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter" icon again. Click "Properties." Click the "Driver" tab. Click "Update" to upgrade the driver version. Upgrading the driver software fixes bugs and updates the version to the latest Microsoft-approved driver version.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you still cannot connect to a Wi-Fi network after reinstalling the virtual Wi-Fi adapter, uninstall it again in the Device Manager. Rather than clicking "Scan for Hardware Changes," though, restart the computer and allow Windows to reinstall the driver automatically. After Windows re-detects the mini-port adapter and installs it, restart the PC again before attempting to connect to the Internet or a Wi-Fi network with the wireless card or dongle.